Hands off our pumps: Growers fear ‘forced drought’

AUTHORITIES are working to minimise the risk of a water shortfall for Murray River irrigators this summer, amid fears growers will be forced to turn off their pumps at times of peak demand.

Growers have warned of a “forced drought” if the Menindee Lakes cannot supply the Murray River this summer while a run of hot days creates high irrigation demand.

In seasons of full or near-full water allocations, including carryover volumes, the Murray cannot supply enough water through the Barmah Choke – a narrow stretch of the river upstream of Echuca – to meet peak demand downstream. 

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